Tuesday Tour: The home behind the cute kids room

Today's tour shows just how great timber tones can look offset against warm white walls with little pops of character pieces for colour. Not usually a fan of timber in its natural state like this, though there's something about the warmth of this home that tugs at my heart. 

The cute kids room...

The rest of the house...
love this chair...

...and this hallstand. The perfect spot to put on shoes in the morning.

Ace Space Saturday - Eualie's Room

You might remember seeing part of this room once before here on NooshLoves... well, if nothing else, I like to be thorough, I loved the space so much I just had to find the rest of the room to show you. So, here it is! Eualie's room!

15 fun spaces that are child's play

We're lucky enough to have a playroom in our house. It comes at the expense of the boys each having their own room, which for now is fine, but I suspect it'll go at a later date when they start wanting a bedroom each. Until then though, it works well... for them. For me, it's my least favourite room in the house. Why? Because it's a major hazard. Simply by entering that room you take your wellbeing into your own hands. The floor is usually scattered with lego pieces, jigsaw pieces, cars, books and heaven knows what else, and no matter how many storage boxes, labelled drawers, shelves or threats I make, it always looks like a bomb went off in there. 
Finding images like these restore my sanity and fuel my hopes for a serene and orderly space where my imaginary angelic children play together without arguments or fights, and they tidy up after themselves before they leave the room.
Do you have a designated play area in your home? Is it like these? Or more like the one I described?

Racey snacks

Eating healthier options can sometimes be a chore - especially for a fussy kid. 
These clever little treats will have nutritious goodness zooming down their throats in no time...
All you need is an apple, grapes, toothpicks and a little imagination.

Tuesday Tour: The home behind the cute kids room

Happy Valentines Day! Hope you're getting lots of loving today from the ones you love!

Today, I'm loving this New York brownstone. The owners style is a stunning eclectic mix of retro 50's and Danish design mixed with traditional features of the building and modern influences. Just lovely. So, here's the tour...

The kids room...

The rest of the house...

Noah's Birthday and my special secret icing...

This evening I'm a proud mum. For a few reasons... 

First, my little guy has turned 3! He makes me proud every day (well, most days). 

Second, we had a little get together with friends to celebrate today and it was fun! I didn't stress too much beforehand and it all came together ok! 

But mostly, I'm proud of my cake effort. In the past, icing and I haven't really taken to eachother very well. We just don't get on. But this birthday I found a secret. And I'm going to share it with you... It's incredibly easy to make, tastes delicious and it makes cake decorating as easy as playdoh...

Here's Noah's cake...

Here's Noah blowing out the candles... (with me hiding in the background)

And because the cake itself was a bit special I had to show you that as well. It's a vanilla rainbow marble cake. Looks impressive. Dead easy to make. Ready for some instructions?

Vanilla Rainbow Marble Cake
250g (9oz) softened butter unsalted
2 cups (15 1/2oz) white sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups (1lb) self raising flour
1 cup (8 1/2oz) milk

Preheat oven 180 degrees celcius (360 farenheit)
Grease and line your cake tin
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy
Add eggs one by one, beat well after each
Beat in vanilla
Add sifted flour and milk a little at a time mixing well

Pour mixture into 5 bowls evenly.
Add 3-4 drops of colour to each bowl and mix.
(we used red, green, blue, yellow and purple)

Pour each colour into prepared tin and run a knife around the mixture in the tin to create marble effect. 
(you only need to run the knife around once or twice at the most - any more and your colours will blend into preschool brown)

Bake for around 35 minutes or until golden.

Marshamallow Fondant Icing
(aka: My secret weapon)
500g marshmallows
2 tablespoons water
1kg pure icing sugar

Seperate your white and pink marshmallows into 2 bowls.
Add one tablespoon of water to each bowl 
Take the first ones you want to work with and microwave on high for 2 minutes.
Once they start frothing take them out and mix with a spoon or knife till smooth.
Add your food colouring at this stage. Be generous as the colour will waeken a little as you add the icing sugar.
Start adding sifted icing sugar mixing as you go
Keep doing this until mixture turns into a dough like consistency.
Once it forms a ball, move it to a "sugared" bench (like a floured work space but using icing sugar instead of flour), and knead.
Roll into a ball and wrap in plastic cling wrap

Repeat for second colour
Refridgerate overnight

When you're ready to use your icing microwave it on high for 10-15 seconds to make it pliable again
Roll our to a thickness of around 5mm
Lay your sheet of icing over your cake
Trim excess at base

I used rolled up balls to cover the cut edge
And we used our playdoh cutters for the letters and shapes to decorate.
Simply wet your fingers with water to dampen the back of the shapes before placing them to "glue" in place.

Notes: Use a good brand of marshmallows - ones you'd eat anyway. If you use cheap nasty ones your icing will taste cheap and nasty too.

This fondant really is a godsend for me. I love making kooky cakes for the boys birthdays and I've never had any success with butter cream icing. I'll never use anything else now. This is incredible stuff.

Cake recipes via Hip Hip Hooray by Julie Lanham 
Marshmallow fondant recipe adapted from here

Ace Space Saturday - Mila

Todays Ace Space comes all the way from Shanghai in China. Mila's mum and Dad are Australians living in Shanghai and previously lived in Tokyo. They've put a little piece of each of the cultures of the countries in which they've lived into Mila's room which I think is a really nice touch.

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